Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy where she received a Bachelor of Science in oceanography. She holds a Master of Science in Management from Troy State University.
At sea, Bolivar served in various leadership positions aboard USS Reclaimer (ARS 42), USS Grasp (ARS 51), USS Grapple (ARS 53) and USS Recovery (ARS 43). She served as commanding officer of USS Salvor (ARS 52). Bolivar’s other operational assignments include commanding officer of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1 and officer in charge of the Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Electronic Warfare program while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom’s counter IED task force, Task Force Paladin.
Her shore tours include fleet and message center officer/Communications Security Material System custodian at the U.S. Naval Communications Station, San Miguel, Philippines; researcher/writer on the secretary of the Navy’s White House liaison staff; and as ordnance officer at Naval Station Norfolk and Atlantic Ordnance Command Yorktown. Bolivar also served on the staffs of Commander Naval Surface Forces Atlantic and Explosive Ordnance Group 2. Bolivar served in various leadership assignments as executive officer of Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, operations officer, and military professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and as the commanding officer of Naval Weapons Station Yorktown and Navy Munitions Command CONUS East Division. Bolivar served as the chief of staff for Commander Navy Installations Command, then as commander, Navy Region Northwest. Bolivar’s last tour was as commander Joint Region Marianas, where she also served as the U.S. Pacific Command/Defense Representative Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands-Federated States of Micronesia-Republic of Palau; Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas; and Commander, Task Force West. Bolivar assumed command of Navy Region Southeast in February 2017.
Bolivar is designated as a special operations officer (Explosive Ordnance Disposal/Diving and Salvage community). Bolivar’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (three awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards) and various campaign, unit and service awards, including recognition as the Chief of Naval Operations’ Pacific Fleet finalist for the Vice Adm. James Stockdale Leadership Award and a 2005 inductee into the Women Divers Hall of Fame.